As dazzling sunshine and warmer temperatures turn pristine snow to nitrogen rich ground water, homebound Champions are looking forward to getting out in the brief respite between snow and the deep mud that the week end’s promised rain will bring.  There are adventure stories being told of narrow escapes and odd slips and slides that are topped off with great gobs of gratitude that bones are yet intact and rigs still roll.  Champion!

Skyline Tigers are ready to roar.  Not everyone is back in school yet because some of the dirt roads are still too tricky to navigate and “safe” is well known to be far better than “sorry.”  The warm up is just in time to give the students a few days to rehearse the Christmas program that has been rescheduled for Thursday, December 19th.  The program starts at 7:00 p.m. Batteries in cameras are being checked because the program only happens once a year and for some parents and grandparents of prekindergarten and kindergarten students it is a milestone.  Hearts will be swelling and little unexplained catches will occur in the back of throats as precious offspring transition into big school kids.  Last year the General was almost inconsolable.  This year, before the program, the Y.E.P. kids will be selling some cute snowmen that they have made.  After the performance there will be an auction of homemade pies and baked goods to benefit the Youth Empowerment Program.  It is shaping up to be a splendid affair.   Go Tigers!  Christmas break is scheduled to be from December 23rd until January 3rd.  They will be ready to get back on the books by that time.

Young people named Leo and Olivia will be eating cake and singing to their mother on the 16th.  The 18th is set aside to celebrate Jesse David Ing.  He is a world citizen, a bright exciting appreciator and advocate of all that is good and tasty.  He learned how to be that way from his own dear mother, a comadre for all time.  Destiny Surface, Skyline first grader, shares her birthday with the lovely Mary Goolsby who may make an appearance at the Skyline VFD Auxiliary chili supper in March.  Her many friends hope it happens and that she will bring Bob with her.  Auxiliary members, Chris Dailey and Sharon Sikes are celebrating birthdays on the 21st and the 23rd.   Chris shares her day with sixth grader Logan Brown as the world celebrates the ‘beginning’ of winter with them.  Sixth grader, Willard Hall, gets to have his birthday on Christmas.  Lucky guy!  Probably his folks do something for him in July just so he knows how special he really is.  Special is the word for Corinne Zappler.  She spent a happy month in Champion during the summer and her old auntie and uncle miss her still.  Her birthday is on the 27th.   She keeps rosin on her bow and music in her heart.  She is a natural Champion that way.  Logan Hull has his birthday on December 29th.  He will be in the first grade group at the Skyline Christmas program.  Eli Oglesby will be nine years old on the 30th of the month.  Some grandmothers and friends are wondering just how that happened.  It is the swift passage of time that gets swifter as time goes by.  The General is in a blur for sure, as he marks the accumulation his three score and eleven years on the last day of December.  Happy Birthday to all and to the General, good night!

Elizabeth Johnston will soon have one foot in a cast if all goes well.  Her friends and family are thinking about her with their best thoughts.  Meanwhile, that other foot can still pat and it is the suggestion of some that she spend part of this down time with rosin on her bow and scales on the fingerboard of that fiddle.  Music is said to have healing properties.  At the very least it has a distracting element that allows a sufferer some respite.  Dr. Terry Harville of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical School says that for as long as there has been music, and medicine, people have noticed that when patients listen to music—or better yet, play it—they are calmer, complain less about pain and are more receptive to doing the things they need to do to get better.   Researchers regard music therapy as a tool of great power in many neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s because of its unique capacity to organize or reorganize cerebral function when it has been damaged.  Some music lovers are trying to get a head start and say, “Let the reorganization begin!”

Champions do not take the wonderful rural mail delivery for granted.  It was just such weather as this recent bout that set dear Cletus Upshaw on his downward slide.  He never fully recovered from falls on the ice out on old Route 2.  He was a fountain of historic information and good humor.  Good humor is the hallmark of Karen Ross as she deftly navigates new Route 72.  In the most ideal conditions any job that requires driving the twists and turns of these State and county roads is a dangerous one.    Postal patrons keep their flags up as they send out Christmas greetings to family and friends.  Champions extend greetings to the messenger as well to express appreciation and good wishes for safe travels.  Young Drayson Cline has hit the road again.  He has gone a’truckin with his Pappy and his beautiful Mom.  His Aunt Tanna was rocking him the other day and singing, “I been everywhere, man” since he has already been to Wichita and Nashville.  Some folks never get to Nashville!  He will spend some time over on Cripple Creek with cousins who will start him on his banjo lessons right away.  He definitely has rhythm and his Grammy says he laughs right out loud now.   He will be home for Christmas.

A new batch of Champion post cards has just been delivered to Henson’s Downtown G & G.  There are four in this series and they are available at a very nominal price.  The improved quality of these cards is the result of doing business locally.  The folks at Precision Graphics really know their business.   It is always a pleasure to find just what is needed close to home.  Bring your Christmas cheer, your exciting tales of near misses and other wintery escapades down to the Recreation of the Historic Emporium over on the North Side of the Square.  It is not too late to get on the ‘nice’ list for Santa.  “Ho ho ho, who wouldn’t go?….“ down to the magnificent wild and wooly banks of Old Fox Creek to Champion—Looking on the Bright Side!